Monday, October 22, 2007

Major Mayer Muddle

John Mayer, the singer-songwriter who is improbably famous, released a song last year which, upon my hearing (I don't keep up 100% with recent pop music), strikes me as horribly wrong for someone with so much influence on the general public. His song is "Waiting on the world to change," and has lyrics that advocate, in my mind, lazing around and idly hoping that everything will get better.

Now we see everything that's going wrong
With the world and those who lead it
We just feel like we don't have the means
To rise above and beat it
....
It's not that we don't care,
We just know that the fight ain't fair
So we keep on waiting
Waiting on the world to change


These lyrics are ridiculous. It will never be easy to change the world. Change is hard, it is difficult. It comes in small leaps and bounds, often with gross steps backwards. All good fights have been like that. The fight for racial equality, which is still going on, has been a veritable roller coaster of achievements and setbacks. The environment, poverty, Vietnam war protests ... nearly every progressive movement in society is on the backs of the hard working people making minuscule additions to the fight.

To say that it is too hard, or that that fight isn't fair, is simply preposterous. No fight is fair, nothing is easy if you want it done right and are fighting against a tide, which every good innovation in our society has done or is trying to do.

And for Mayer to claim that is too easy is bullshit. For him to be a role model for the younger segments of our population, and to tell them just to sit back and wait until things change, is ludicrous. Then it'll never happen! If everyone simply "waits for the world to change" then the world will never change! What if Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. had said, "well, we'd like equality, but it's really an uphill battle, so I'm gonna sit back and wait for the world to change." Where would we be?

It's repugnant that Mayer would put this song into circulation.
When you're a celebrity you have a responsibility to inspire, to challenge, to move forward. Not to advocate apathy and stagnation.

[Thanks to Anne for bringing this song to my attention]

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